Skip to Content

Walkers are Welcome

Walkers are Welcome

Gillingham is now a Walkers are Welcome Town.

Gillingham has been awarded the national status of a ‘Walkers are Welcome Town”. The Mayor of Gillingham received the certificate from Kate Ashbrook, Patron of Walkers Are Welcome and national President of the Ramblers at the launch of the second Gillingham Walking Festival in September 2015.

Walkers are Welcome is a nationwide initiative encouraging towns and villages to be ‘welcoming to walkers’ by offering people and visitors excellent walking opportunities, well maintained footpaths and promotion of health benefits.


The Gillingham Walking Festival is the flagship event of our Walkers are Welcome Town initiative. The festival is friendly, informal and very popular. The Festival, which began in 2014, takes place each year in early September.

Adopt a Footpath Scheme
With the help of a grant from Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust the Adopt a Footpath Scheme was launched in February 2017. Over two thirds of the 40 kilometres of public rights of way in the parish of Gillingham are now being monitored by a team of around 20 volunteers. We are delighted that the Beavers have also adopted a stretch of path. Volunteers undertake to walk “their” path regularly and report any problems. They may also carry out minor cutting back around gateways. If you would like to join us please pick up a leaflet at the Library or the Town Hall or visit our website.

Footpath Workparty
Our dedicated team meets to carry out simple maintenance of rights of way including path clearance and improvements to signs. In 2017 they worked with Gillingham Action for Nature (GANG) members on a major project to improve the path up under the railway from Withywood. We have also helped with initial waymarking of the Gillingham section of the new White Hart Link route.
You are most welcome to join us. Contact Sheila on 01747 821269 for more details.

Victorian Kissing Gates
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust grant also enabled us to renovate and re-erect several iron kissing gates which may be as much as 150 years old. Local retired blacksmith Alan Whiffen has done a splendid job.

Stiles to Gates Project
With a grant from Legacy 2012 and working in conjunction with the local landowners and Dorset Countryside Ranger Service we have replaced 30 stiles with gates on local rights of way.

Walks Maps
Large scale maps showing the waymarked routes can be found in the bus shelters at bottom of the High Street and at the train station.

There is much to do. If you would like to get involved you can be sure of a warm welcome.
Contact Sheila; 01747 821269

For further information about WAW and local walking groups go to